Gadd, Holly

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Abstract Background: With over 130 million emergency room (ER) visits per year in the United States, many emergency departments (ED) are struggling with overcrowded conditions. Contributing to overcrowded conditions are those presenting with dyspnea, who are nearly 4 million in number. ED crowding has serious implications. Exploring and implementing evidence-based methods to alleviate congestion is critical. Problem: One method being explored is the integration of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) into the stretcher side assessment of dyspneic patients. Multiple pathologies can cause dyspnea and rapidly isolating the underlying etiology is critical. Various studies have demonstrated the efficiency of POCUS at identifying lung conditions. Because of its utility, medical schools are adopting POCUS education into their curriculums (Rizzolo & Krackov, 2019). Yet, POCUS education for advanced practice providers (APP) is lagging even though their presence and responsibilities are growing. Intervention: The purpose of this DNP project was to determine if APPs and current APP students, through four online learning modules and an interactive skills workshop on POCUS, could improve their knowledge and develop skills in the use of POCUS to correctly identify healthy lungs from those with pulmonary edema, pneumonia, and pneumothorax. Results: A total of nine (n = 9) participants took part in the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) scholarly project. All who participated scored a 5/5 (100%) on each module post-test and passed the POCUS interactive skills evaluation tool at the interactive skills workshop. Moreover, there was a significant difference in the before and after confidence levels in lung POCUS of those who completed the post-project survey (Z = 2.23, p = .026). Conclusion: The DNP student developed a model educational program, that while it may have some limitations, was highly effective in advancing its participants’ knowledge, skills, and confidence in the use of POCUS for lung assessment. This project can serve as a template for POCUS training among advanced practice providers and other clinicians who need this skill. It is recommended that this type of program be more widely embraced in the APP’s education and taught as a regular part of the APP’s acute care curriculum.